EPA offers $3M to replace school bus engines

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Wednesday it will pay $3 million to help schools replace old bus engines with new models that are more fuel efficient.

As part of an effort to reduce diesel emissions around the country, the EPA will offer rebates to public and private schools looking to upgrade their bus fleets through the 2014 school bus replacement funding opportunity.

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The EPA says the program will help improve the air quality for millions of children who ride a bus to school each morning.

"School buses are the safest and most environmentally friendly way to transport children to and from school," Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator at the EPA, said in a statement. “The rebates to retrofit older bus engines will provide healthier rides for the 25 million children across the country who ride them on a daily basis.”

The EPA's goal is to get rid of older, dirtier school bus engines that are polluting the air near schools and replace them with more environmentally friendly options.

"Older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter," according to the EPA. "These pollutants are linked to health problems, including aggravated asthma, lung damage, and other serious health problems." 

School buses that were manufactured in 2006 or earlier will be eligible for the rebates. The deadline to apply is Nov. 17.